July 31, 2009

Advocate Article: "No Rights and No Review: How Housing Cooperatives Have Circumvented Procedural Fairness"

Susan Mossing, a colleague of mine, and I co-authored an article in this month's issue of The Advocate about some rules adopted by cooperative housing boards that enable them to expel cooperative members without triggering the extensive procedural fairness provisions mandated by the Cooperative Association Act . We also review how these rules circumvent statutory provisions designed to protect cooperative members' rights.

The paper examines the courts' reactions to these expulsions and proposes legal recourse which may be available to cooperative members confronted with this expulsion.

We hope that the article will help cooperative housing members better understand and enforce their rights and that legislative change addressing these problems will soon follow.

A link to the article can be found here.


  1. Is this what you were talking about in your article? I found this in my Co-op Occupancy Agreement. You really do need a lawyer when reading these things... so many parts seem to contradict one another.

    Termination of Membership and Occupancy Agreement
    "If the membership of the Member is terminated or if the Directors terminate this Occupancy Agreement as provided herein, the Member agrees that Sections 156 (i.e. oppression remedy) and 208 (i.e. arbitration) of the Cooperative Association Act, and any grievance or dispute procedure that may exist in the Rules or the policies of the Co op do not apply and are expressly waived and shall not be invoked by the Member."

  2. Well, well. I just had a look on the CHF BC website and it looks like changes have already been made to the Co-op Act... the CHF BC doesn't seem too happy though. Thanks Shannon! I bet you had a part to play in this.

    "On June 1, 2013 some important changes to the Co-operative Association Act (the Co-op Act) will take effect. The most important of these changes deal with the ability of housing co-ops to end a membership by way of an Occupancy Agreement termination.

    The Corbett v. Still Creek Housing Co‑operative, 2006 BCCA 5667 decision validated the right of housing co-ops to pursue termination of membership under the Rules of the Co-op or by way of an Occupancy Agreement termination. The co-op housing sector fought hard to maintain the option for housing co-ops to use Occupancy Agreement terminations. However, these recent amendments to the Co‑op Act have eliminated this option.

    The highlights of the changes are:

    A housing co-op is no longer permitted to end someone’s membership by terminating their Occupancy Agreement.

    The only way to terminate a membership is under Section 35 of the Co-op Act, which is already incorporated into every co-op’s Rules in Rule 5 (if you are using the Model Rules published by CHF BC), and now also a new section 35.1 of the Act.


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